So here we are. I’ve finally done it. Having spent the last couple of weeks interrogating the Writers and Artists Yearbook (2014, no less), polishing my letter of introduction, squeezing my 85,000 word book into a one and a half page plot synopsis, succumbing to doubts about the merit of my work and researching self-publishing, procrastinating (lost of procrastinating, and eventually building up the courage, I’ve just sent submissions to four literary agents in the hope that one will bite.
And after all the stress and anxiety, I feel fine. My requests have flown, there is nothing I can do now but sit back and wait. I’d like to say that sending them now was part of a cunning plan to take advantage of the fact that most other writers are too engaged with NaNoWriMo to send in submissions, but that would be a lie. It just happened this way.
Why only send to four? Why not to forty? Well I decided to take some advice from the wonderful Jools of A Writer’s Notepad fame, and test the waters with the view to adapting my approach based on feedback, rather than potentially blowing it all in one go. Plus there aren’t forty who will take my book. One of the most depressing parts of the process has been reading agent descriptions which say “interested in all commercial and literary fiction (no science fiction, fantasy or horror).” I don’t see my book as Science Fiction, it is a political thriller. But it is set in the future, it does have a lot of future technology integral to the plot, so it would be an argument I know I would lose. My next book should be easier. It’s a contemporary thriller; everybody wants one of those.
I’ll keep you up to date with how it goes and try not to be too despondent when the rejections arrive (I’m not being negative, just realistic). In the meanwhile I’ll carry on with the new book and keep reading up on self-publishing. It’s good to be prepared.